Research on The History of The Trojan War

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About this sample


Words: 2055 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018

Words: 2055|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018


Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Causes of the Trojan War
  3. The Siege of Troy
  4. Achilles's Role and the Turning Point
  5. Aftermath and Legacy


The Trojan War, which unfolded around 1200 BC, marks a significant event in ancient Greek mythology, ignited by the infamous apple of discord. This apple, offered by Aphrodite to Paris of Troy, set in motion a series of events that culminated in a legendary conflict between Greeks and Trojans. Through a complex interplay of divine intervention, human desires, and political maneuvering, the war revealed the profound influence of both gods and mortals in shaping the course of history.

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The Causes of the Trojan War

The origins of the Trojan War can be traced back to a fateful wedding celebration, where the goddess of discord, Eris, cast a golden apple inscribed with the words "To the Fairest" among the attendees. Denied an invitation to the festivities, Eris sought to sow discord among the divine guests, leading to a contentious dispute among Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. Unable to settle the dispute themselves, the goddesses turned to Paris, a mortal prince, to determine the fairest among them.

Paris, unable to choose among the three goddesses, was swayed by their enticing offers. Aphrodite's promise of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta, ultimately won his favor. Thus, with Aphrodite's aid, Paris embarked on a journey to Sparta, where he encountered Helen in the absence of her husband, Menelaus. Under the spell of Eros' arrow, Helen succumbed to Paris' charm, and the two lovers eloped to Troy, inciting the ire of Menelaus upon his return.

Menelaus, aggrieved by the abduction of his wife, sought to reclaim her with the assistance of Odysseus. However, diplomatic efforts proved futile, prompting Menelaus to invoke the oath of Tyndareus. With the support of his brother Agamemnon, Menelaus rallied the Greek leaders who had once vied for Helen's hand in marriage, compelling them to honor their prior pledge of allegiance.

Central to the Greek cause was the prophecy foretelling that Troy could only be conquered with the aid of Achilles. Determined to secure his support, Odysseus, Telamonian Ajax, and Phoenix embarked on a mission to locate Achilles, who was concealed in Skyros. Disguised either as merchants or by the sound of a warhorn, they succeeded in revealing Achilles, who, despite his disguise as a woman, displayed an unmistakable affinity for weaponry.

The underlying cause of the Trojan War, however, extends beyond mortal desires and political machinations. It finds its roots in the divine realm, where the failure of Menelaus to honor Aphrodite with due sacrifice incurred her wrath. Thus, the conflict serves as a testament to the intertwined relationship between mortals and gods, where divine favor and retribution shape the course of human affairs.

In essence, the Trojan War epitomizes the complex interplay of human agency and divine intervention, revealing the enduring legacy of mythological narratives in shaping historical events. Through the lens of ancient Greek mythology, the conflict serves as a profound exploration of the forces that drive individuals and nations towards war and the enduring consequences of their actions.

The Siege of Troy

In the annals of ancient Greek history, the Siege of Troy emerges as a pivotal moment, fueled by the ambitions of Menelaus and his formidable brother, Agamemnon, who commanded the most powerful contingent among the Greek chieftains. Their persuasive prowess rallied a colossal expedition aimed at dismantling the stronghold of Troy. Agamemnon assumed the mantle of commander-in-chief, supported by a cadre of esteemed Greek heroes, including his brother Menelaus, Patroclus, and the renowned Achilles. Among the ranks also stood notable figures such as two Ajaxes, Nestor and his son Antilochus, Teucer, Idomeneus, Diomedes, Odysseus, and Philoctetes, whose role would be deferred until later stages of the conflict.

The Greek force, comprising 100,000 warriors and 1,186 ships, congregated in the harbor of Aulis, invoking divine favor through sacrificial rites before embarking on their expedition. Yet, an ominous portent foretold by the seer Calchas, wherein a snake preyed upon sparrows and turned their mother to stone, prophesied a protracted conflict lasting nine years, culminating in the fall of Troy in the tenth. This augury, coupled with an oracle received by Agamemnon, hinted at the inevitable clash among the Greek heroes themselves before achieving victory.

The journey to Troy, however, was fraught with misfortune. Despite initial attempts to set sail, the Greeks found themselves thwarted by storms, eventually landing in Mysia under the rule of Telephus. Forced to regroup, they reconvened at Aulis, where divine intervention hindered their progress until Agamemnon consented to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, appeasing the gods' wrath and facilitating their passage to Troy. Subsequently, envoys led by Odysseus and Menelaus ventured to Troy, demanding the surrender of Helen, a futile endeavor marred by the obstinacy of Paris and the Trojans.

Achilles's Role and the Turning Point

As hostilities commenced, the Trojans, though outnumbered, remained entrenched behind formidable fortifications, daunted by the specter of Achilles' formidable prowess. Despite their valorous champions, including Glaucus, Aeneas, Sarpedon, and the indomitable Hector, they hesitated to engage in direct confrontation. Thus, the Greeks resorted to protracted skirmishes and strategic raids, constrained by the impregnability of Troy's defenses and the scarcity of provisions, necessitating Achilles' intervention in foraging expeditions.

The narrative of the war, as chronicled in Homer's "Iliad," unfolds over fifty-one days, encapsulating the escalating tensions and pivotal engagements. Among the seminal moments, the abduction of Chryseis, daughter of the priest Chryses, precipitates a divine retribution in the form of a plague unleashed by Apollo, demanding her restitution. Agamemnon relents begrudgingly but seizes Achilles' prized concubine, Briseis, igniting a feud that reverberates throughout the conflict.

Enraged by Agamemnon's affront, Achilles seeks retribution, beseeching his mother, Thetis, to intercede with Zeus and curse the Greeks with misfortune until his honor is restored. Emboldened by false promises of victory, Agamemnon instigates a fateful battle, only to be ensnared in a treacherous truce shattered by the Trojan Pandarus' treacherous arrow. Subsequent clashes, punctuated by acts of valor and the observance of sacred bonds, underscore the intricate interplay of divine will and mortal ambition.

The culmination of these events converges upon a tentative duel between Hector and Ajax, symbolizing both the valor and the camaraderie inherent in the Greek ethos. As the day wanes, Nestor's counsel guides the Greeks in fortifying their encampment, underscoring the enduring values of hospitality and solidarity amidst the ravages of war. Thus, the Siege of Troy stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Greek mythology, wherein the struggles of gods and mortals intertwine to shape the destiny of nations.

As the epic conflict of the Trojan War neared its culmination, divine intervention and mortal valor intertwined in a crescendo of tragedy and heroism. Following Zeus' decree to abstain from direct involvement, the Greek fortunes ebbed and flowed amidst the relentless onslaught of the Trojans. Amidst the chaos, the sage counsel of Nestor urged Agamemnon towards reconciliation with Achilles, a pivotal moment that heralded a desperate bid for peace.

Efforts at appeasement, however, proved futile until a daring nocturnal reconnaissance led by Odysseus and Diomedes injected a glimmer of hope amidst the gloom. Despite fleeting triumphs on the battlefield, the Greek heroes, including Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Diomedes, were beset by wounds, forcing a harrowing retreat behind the camp's walls. Yet, even amidst adversity, the stalwart defense of the Greek bastion bore testament to their indomitable spirit.

However, Hector's relentless assault breached the walls, unleashing a torrent of Trojan warriors upon the Greek encampment. In the ensuing chaos, the valiant efforts of Ajaxes and Idomeneus staved off imminent defeat, buoyed by the divine intervention of Poseidon. Yet, Hector, imbued with renewed vigor by Apollo, defied the odds, precipitating a grim reckoning for the beleaguered Greeks.

Amidst the carnage, Achilles, burdened by remorse, reconciled with Agamemnon, spurred by the tragic demise of his beloved comrade, Patroclus. Clad in resplendent armor crafted by Hephaestus, Achilles embarked on a vengeful rampage, decimating the Trojan ranks and ultimately confronting Hector in a fateful duel that sealed the fate of Troy.

Aftermath and Legacy

The aftermath of the war witnessed poignant scenes of mourning and reconciliation, as the fallen were laid to rest amidst solemn ceremonies. Yet, the echoes of conflict lingered, manifesting in subsequent clashes with the Amazons and the Ethiopian champion, Memnon, whose demise mirrored the inexorable march towards destiny.

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The demise of Achilles, foretold by the oracle, marked the denouement of an era, as the mantle of heroism passed to Odysseus amidst internal discord and bitter rivalries. The saga of the Trojan War, immortalized in myth and legend, endures as a testament to the triumphs and tragedies that define the human experience, transcending the boundaries of time and space.


  1. Homer. (1990). The Iliad. Translated by Robert Fagles. Penguin Classics.
  2. Powell, B. B. (2018). Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet. Cambridge University Press.
  3. Wood, M. (2014). In Search of the Trojan War. University of California Press.
  4. Finkelberg, M. (2014). Greeks and Pre-Greeks: Aegean Prehistory and Greek Heroic Tradition. Cambridge University Press.
  5. Latacz, J. (2004). Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery. Oxford University Press.
  6. Morris, I. (2008). The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction. Cornell University Press.
  7. Nagy, G. (2002). Plato’s Rhapsody and Homer’s Music: The Poetics of the Panathenaic Festival in Classical Athens. Harvard University Press.
  8. Graziosi, B. (2001). Inventing Homer: The Early Reception of Epic. Cambridge University Press.
  9. Tsagalis, C. (2013). Early Greek Epic Fragments I: Antiquarian and Genealogical Epic. Harvard University Press.
  10. Thalmann, W. G. (2014). Apollonius of Rhodes and the Spaces of Hellenism. Oxford University Press.
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Research on the History of the Trojan War. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Research on the History of the Trojan War.” GradesFixer, 17 Dec. 2018,
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